Once upon a time – I think it was September – I happened upon an MPIX blog posting about some boat trip around New York City. Although my motion sickness typically keeps me away from small boats, the invitation was too enticing to resist.
I thought for sure that the slots would be filled, but requested admission anyway. Wouldn’t you know it, I got an email back from John of MPIX that my request went through. Exciting!
Fast forward to the boat trip, attended by all these other photographers who seemed to know exactly what they were doing. Me, I was trying to stay by the sidelines and hide the fact that I felt so out of my league. I was just happy to be there, even though I was such a doofus that I couldn’t even think of an intelligent question to ask either of the professional instructors on board. Shrew and I had a deep conversation about that on the way back. We were collectively the mannequin equivalent of a big old “D-UH?”
After the trip, we were asked to submit our five best photos for publication consideration. Let me tell you, I had such a difficult time choosing my five. Not because of the wealth of possible choices, but because I was consistently disappointed as I scrolled through file after file looking for that one shot or two that instantly looked like a contender. But there was nothing. Nada. Not a single jpeg file spoke to me. It was like they just stood there with their arms crossed and lips pursed, tapping their feet and waiting – hoping – to get deleted.
So I posted a few shots on Flickr, and enlisted the help of my ever-reliable buddies – Shrew and Darrell (my high school classmate with a killer Flickr photostream). One of the photos I uploaded was this.
I uploaded it only because I needed to have at least a few photos to show for my effort, and I was having a hard time finding some decent ones. But then Shrew saw it, and y said that she loved it and that I should enter it. In my head, I was thinking, “Really? This one? Are you sure you’re looking at the right photo?”
Obedient person that I am, I took her advice. Besides, I had no time to reconsider or even come up with five picks of my own. That’s because the lovely Lauren Brewer of HFMUS was so kind to email me and tell me that I had only a few more hours before the deadline to submit my photos. (I assumed their deadline meant by midnight that day, only to be told at 11am that the photos had to be in by 2pm. If not for Lauren, I would have completely missed the boat on that one. Pun half-intended.)
So imagine what a thrill it was to sit in the airport with the January issue of Popular Photography looking at this spread:
Recognize that photo on the lower right side?
Then I ate an entire pomegranate, baked cookies with my niece, and stopped groaning about why California had to be 31 degrees in the morning the very week that I was visiting.